‘No stigma anymore for women joining construction industry’

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A proclamation signing was held last Thursday to honor Women in Construction who were given legislative certificates of recognition. (PNC photo)

Despite Women in Construction Week coming to an end, the National Association of Women in Construction’s Guam Chapter will continue to provide Guam’s women with resources and support on a consistent basis.

A proclamation signing was held last Thursday to honor Women in Construction who were given legislative certificates of recognition by Senators Amanda Shelton and Tina Muna-Barnes.

The proclamation commemorated Women In Construction Week, which took place during Women’s History Month. Women in construction week recognized the advancements and contributions made by women within the field of construction. The week also sought out to increase awareness of the construction opportunities for women in Guam.

The National Association of Women in Construction’s Guam Chapter emphasizes that the construction industry is a valid and reliable source for a woman’s future career.

According to Selina Ashland, president of NAWIC’s Guam chapter and the Guam Island Equipment Company’s general manager, the proclamation signing was humbling and rewarding for women and all persons within the construction field.

“Well, we are very honored and humbled to have this proclamation presented to our organization, to acknowledge all the work that we’ve done to provide professional development and skills and training for women in the industry. And again, this proclamation kind of puts us out there more and gives us more exposure to let women on our island know that we are a resource for them,” Ashland said.

When asked about the challenges women face within the construction industry, which is typically male-dominant, NAWIC vice president Lucia Wood answered that women’s most significant obstacle is simply overcoming the fear of entering the field. Fortunately, she said many women have already broken down stigmas and are currently present and prosperous within the construction industry.

“The challenges are understanding that it’s not a stigma anymore. Women are in construction. We are here. The challenges are getting with a mentor, and that’s another part of what NAWIC is all about … is that we mentor to empower Guam’s women and future. Again, in construction, women are coming into the workforce 9% higher than men, and we need that to happen here on Guam …and we’re here. So the challenges, are only challenges that you don’t face,” Wood said.

The National Association of Women in Construction strives to promote women’s continual expansion within the construction industry. In addition to NAWIC’S consistent community outreach efforts, Joanne Messier, the president-elect of NAWIC, stated that NAWIC supports women through their education fund that allows women to be professionally certified for future employment.

“There are ample opportunities through the NAWIC, our national education foundation. We’re willing to help you get your construction industry technician certification, your construction document technician certification, and these are recognized construction certifications nationwide,” she said.

Amongst the events lined up by the organization for the upcoming months are recycling diverted waste into items meant to be sold to raise funds during Earth Month in April. For more information on NAWIC and forthcoming events, visit nawicguam.org.

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